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Manage Your Reputation

Most people define online reputation management (ORM) as “the act of monitoring, addressing or mitigating SERPs (search engine result pages) or mentions in online media and Web sphere content.”

ORM primarily involves tracking what is written about a client on the Internet, then utilizing sophisticated online and offline techniques in promoting positive and neutral content, while at the same time pushing down those links the sponsor may not want to show when their name is searched.

In short, ORM is keeping track of what people are saying about you online and promoting the positive while eliminating and preventing the negative.

ORM is especially prevalent today as just about every business has an online identity in one form or another.

An identity or brand can be promoted in a number of ways, but it can also be damaged in many ways; and managing both of these plays key roles in ORM.

All of these affect your online reputation and that reputation is just as important as your offline one – something you’ve probably dedicated years to building and promoting.

Unfortunately, you don’t have years to dedicate to managing and build your online reputation. More people use and do business on the Internet every day, and the majority of people spend the majority of their time online in some capacity or another.

-How are you supposed to know what people are saying about you?

-And if negative reviews and feedback is out there about your company, what can you do about it anyway? And of course, what’s always on top of every business owner’s mind –

-when are you supposed to find the time to do it?

This guide will explain all of these things.

Finding every piece of information that’s out there in cyberspace about you doesn’t have to be all that difficult; and building positive reviews and positive images of your brand can be even easier online than it is offline.

If you don’t have the time for it all, as many business owners don’t, within this guide you’ll even find out how to tackle that problem.


Posted in Running Your Business by .

Business Money

The people, who make decisions in accounting, make it based on three categories.  First, people who manage a business, second, the external people of a business who have a direct financial interest to a business, and third the people and organizations that have an indirect effect on a business.  This applies to non profit organizations as well.  Management refers to the group of people who are in charge for operating a business and for measuring up to the profitability and liquidity goals.  If a business is extremely large, then the management will most often require more than one person, and the people are hired to perform their job.  Managers need to answer important questions such as what was the company’s net income, and if they have a substantial rate of return. Does the company have enough assets, and which products bring in the most money?  When making a decision, managers usually follow a systematic approach. Even though larger businesses require a more concrete analysis, they follow a similar pattern to small businesses.

 

Financing a business:  Financing for a company is critical, because they need that money to continue their operations.  Here is a nice website to find out more information about financing a business. http://www.sba.gov/financing/

Investing in a business:    Companies invest in their current assets so that it will make money for them in the future.

Producing goods or services: Operations and production management is responsible for developing and producing goods and services that the company can sell.

Marketing: Learning marketing and advertising skills so that they can distribute goods and services more efficiently.

Managing workers:  Human resource management requires the hiring of qualified employees, and also paying them.

Providing information:  The information management retrieves data about the company such as how much they made in the last month, and organize the information in a way so that it can be used. It also releases information to managers, and to important people outside the business.

 

Another group of individuals that needs knowledge in accounting is those you have a direct interest in the business, go figures.  They use the information to analyze how a business is performing.  Most businesses generally publish their financial report which shows how well they meet their profitability and liquidity goals. These statements display how well a company did in the past and probably most important, how well they will do in the future.  However, many people outside the business also study the financial reports.  They are the investors and the creditors.  The investors are the individuals that invest in a business and will keep a part of the ownership. They are concerned with their past success and failures, and also will like to know the potential earnings. A concrete analysis of the financial statement will help prospective investors base their decisions.  Once they finish investing they must continue to study a business financial statement.  Next, the creditors are the companies that lease money to businesses for short or long term needs.  Creditors are the people that deliver money or provide services for companies in advanced before getting paid.  Their main concern is whether a business will have the money to repay the money with interest in an approximate time. Some of the things they study before they make their decisions are a company’s liquidity, cash flow, and profitability. Some examples of creditors are banks, mortgage companies, and insurance companies.  Over the years the shift of people who used accounting information has varied drastically. Now, it is heavily used by governmental agencies, and in matter of fact taxes is the main source of income for government. According to the rules and regulations of federal, state, or even local laws, individuals and companies are required to pay a variety of taxes. These include but are not limited to, sales tax, excise tax, social security tax, federal, state, payroll, and city income taxes.  Each tax requires there own rules and regulations which can be very confusing at times.  Reporting your taxes is a law and a very meticulous and tedious process.  For example, The Internal Revenue Code contains over a thousand rules for delivering accounting information in federal income taxes.  Also, most companies generally have to report to one or more regulating agencies in the United States All corporations must answer to the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC(To find out more information visit there website at http://www.sec.gov/). This is set up by the government to insure and protect the public by regulating the buying and selling of stocks.  Companies that are listed on the Stock exchange must adhere to the rules and regulations.  Some other groups such as labor unions analyze the financial statements of corporations to help negotiate a contact.  The income of a company plays a major role in forming these contracts. The individuals who give advice to investors and creditors such as brokers and financial analysts have an indirect financial interest in a business.  The amount of inertest in the financial health of corporations has been growing by consumer groups such as customers and the public.  They are also concerned about how the corporation will affect the social patterns of the environment and of the people that reside in that area.  The President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve Board use accounting information to set economic policies and programs.  It’s interesting to note that about thirty percent of the businesses in the United States consist of non profit organizations.  Some examples of non profit organizations (NPO) include hospitals, and universities. Some well known non profit organizations include Red Cross, YMCA, Better Business Bureau, and WWF(World Wildlife fund, was formerly in a lawsuit and won against WWE World Wrestling Entertainment, which was originally known as World Wrestling Federation). You may think that the managers of these organizations don’t need to know their accounting skills but they do.  They still have a budget and needs to raise money just like any other business.  They raise money by collecting it from creditors, donors, and even investors. They also need to have a nice plan and to pay creditors back in an efficient manner, and they also have to follow the tax rules.  So even though businesses and non profit organizations have different agendas they both generally follow the same basic rules.

Accounting is a systematic information system that measures, process, and communicate information, I particular financial.  When an accountant is making a measurement they must answer four simple questions.  First, what is being measured, second when should a measurement be made, third how much money should be placed on what is being measured, and last how the measurement should be classified.  These four questions deal with the basic rules of accounting, and the answers help establish what accounting is and what it is not.  Accountants in different fields challenge these questions every day, and therefore the answers are changing often so that’s why it’s a good idea to keep to date with some of the trends. The first question deals with what is measured. Consider a machine that makes clothes.  How many different measurements of this machine can you make? Well, you can measure how much it costs, how many t shirts it can produce, and how quickly it can produce the t shirts.  Some of these measurements are extremely important to accounting and some of them are irrelevant.  Financial accounting will use money to see how business transactions affect other businesses and corporations.


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Case Study: Walgreens

Walgreen Co. www.walgreen.com is a nationwide store chain and has over 3,000 stores and pharmacies and is a retail store phenomenon and has over 27 years of record crumbling sales. Wow what’s the secret Walgreen? Why are you so successful?  Well, customers like their high class customer service, their huge selection, and quality products.  Some investment and other companies with a financial interest in Walgreen look at the past success of the company and evaluate its financial management.  The companies that are interested will be seen in the Financial Highlights from the company’s annual report. Net sales, total assets, net earnings, and stock holder’s equity are all terms that are used to measure the financial stake of the company.  It’s nice that you see the large increase in Wal Green over the years, but what exactly does that mean? What financial knowledge is required of those who manage Wal Green and what methods do they use to measure Wal Green to other large companies?  Wal green’s managers most be very skilled in accounting to help maintain the financial stake of the company. However, Walgreen’ managers are not the only ones that need to be skilled in accounting. The people who have some type of financial stake in the business such as owners, investors, attorneys, employees, and creditors must also be skilled in accounting so they can analyze the financial achievement of the company. Anyone who is interested in any one of theses roles will require some knowledge in accounting knowledge and processes.   That’s what the purpose of accounting is. Contemporary accountants focus on the needs of decisions in accounting information, whether these decisions are internal or external to the business.  Accounting can be defined as a systematic information system that measures, process, and produce financial information about an economic matter such as a business or a government organization.  Accounting serves as a connection between business activities because it records information.  First, accounting analyzes business activity by recording data for them that they can use in the future. Second, the data is not used until it is needed and retrieved when the time is appropriate. Last, the information is analyzed and communicated through reports to the decision makers.  One might assume that the data about business activities are the input and the information for decision makers are the output.  A business is an economic entity that sells goods or services to customers at prices that will provide a return to the owners.  Here is a list of well branded business that sell goods:

 

General Mills Inc. www.generalmills.com sells food products.

Sony Corp. www.sony.com  sells a variety of consumer electronics.

Hilton Hotels Corp. www.hilton.com sells resorts and hotels services.

EBay Inc. www.ebay.com offers an online bidding service.

 

Despite their differences in the products they sell they actually have a lot in common.  Each business must have enough money for the cost of doing business but still have adequate money left over. If the cost of business costs more than operating the business, than that’s when a business will start to crumble.  The need to earn money to hold an investment capital is known as profitability. However, a business must meet the goal of liquidity.  Liquidity refers to having the money available to pay off debts when they are due. For example, a real estate company must meet the goal of profitability by leasing as many houses as they can, but they also must meet the criteria of liquidity when customers don’t come up with the capital to pay sometimes.  Both of these goals must be aced by a company to be successful in their ventures.  All businesses try to pursue their goals by engaging in these similar activities. First, businesses much start some financial activities in order to get enough funds or capital so they can continue their operating.  Financial activities include receiving capital from creditors such as banks and other suppliers.  On the other hand they also include paying creditors back. Second, each business must participate in what is known as investing activities. This refers to the productive spending of capital so that it will help a business attain their goals in an orderly manner.  Some examples of investing activities include purchasing land, equipment that the business may need, and buying buildings. These resources are then sold or discarded of when they are no longer needed.  Third, another essential of every business is participating in operating activities. Besides selling goods and services to customers, operating activities include hiring managers, workers, and purchasing goods and services, and paying back taxes to the government.  An extremely crucial function of accounting is to provide performance measures. This refers to the measures of a business that indicates whether managers are achieving or losing their business goals, which helps to determine if a particular business is under good management.  It is crucial for the performance to measure up with the goals of a business.  For a quick example, earned income is a measurement of profitability, and cash flow is the measurement of liquidity, pretty simple right? Since most managers are evaluated by whether certain aimed goals are accomplished, they must have a very sound understanding of accounting.  Since managers will try to achieve these goals they must be motivated so that they can perform in the best interest of a business.  The typical accounting role of helping decision makers by processing, and communicating information effectively is furthermore divided into the subcategories of financial accounting and management accounting.  Financial accounting is used for generating reports and communicating between outside decisions makers to analyze how well the business is performing.  The reports to the outside users are known as the financial statements.  Companies who stocks are up for grabs on the New York Stock Exchange send their financial statements to its owners or shareholders, and several of other creditors.  The financial statements reflect the goals of profitability and liability, and are used heavily by every person involved with the business.  If you have ANY type of business, it is crucial for you to be literate in financial statements.  They are the back and bone of accounting. Now, let’s not get some terminology mixed up with each other.  It’s critical to distinguish the system of accounting from the ways that information is processed such as bookkeeping, and some type of information management system.  It’s only a small part of accounting, but it is a very important method.  The major goals of accounting are to analyze and interpret information.  The computer is also an important tool in accounting and is used to retrieve and organize information in great time and accuracy.  However, people may assume that the computer does all the work for the accountant, but that couldn’t be more farther from the truth.  The truth is, the computer is instructed what to do by the accountant and the main use of computers is to process complicated information.  Since computers are so beneficial and widespread many business use computers as a management information system.  This is a system of connected subsystems that provide the necessary information to run a business.   The accounting information system is without a doubt the most important subsystem used because it is the key role in analyzing and managing the flow of financial data of a business.


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Selling Retail

Merchandise stores have a couple of objectives. They need to make a decision on the price that they re willing to sell the merchandise, and the quality of service that they need to give customers, that’s basically it.  There are a couple of well known department stores in the world and they are Wal-Mart and Target. A department store can have the option of setting high prices for items and providing quality service, or they can become a discount store. A discount store sells items a frugal price but provide little to none customer service. Target is a discount store and that’s why they are so distinguished. They provide good customer service, and high quality brand name products. Target prices are extremely competitive because they sell well known material with a nice discount.  A merchandising business makes their income by the purchasing and selling of goods. Every merchandising company whether it’s wholesale or resale uses a similar accounting formula. For a retail company the management is a difficult task because the buying and then selling of goods make it an uneasy task. The accountings for a merchandising business compared to that of a manufacturing business are just about equal.  The cash flow management is important for a merchandising business and it requires organizing a company’s receipts and payments of money.  If a company is not capable of paying their bills when they are needed then that is when they will go out of business.  This is very true for merchandising business, and the goods that are sold are known as merchandise inventory. The normal transactions that merchandising business go through is known as the operating cycle.  First, the business purchases the merchandise inventory, and pay for it on either cash or credit and second, they sell the merchandise inventory for wither cash or credit. What’s risky about a merchandising business is because the purchases are usually made on credit which means that they have to wait some time before they actually receive the money for it. However, this is not really a huge issue.  The proper management of cash flow is extremely crucial for a merchandising business because they have to keep financing the inventory (goods in stock) until they are sold which can be risky. The financing period is the time from the purchase of goods for inventory, until the customers come in and purchase the products. This is also commonly referred as the cash gap. So, if it takes 50 days to sell inventory, and 60 days to collect sales for it, an the creditors payment conditions are 30 days, then the financing period is 90 days. In the financial period the company will currently be out of cash and will need to borrow money from creditors such as banks if they don’t have the funds available. A merchandising business specialist is defiantly Claire’s Stores, Inc. They specialize in selling to teenage females and young adults. They are testing what products are selling and which ones are not. Target generally has a low financial period because they usually receive payments by cash, as opposed to credit which takes longer.  The sell of goods on Visa and MasterCard are considered cash sales because they take the money right from the purchaser’s account. Generally the smaller retail stores have more sales on cash then credit, while the bigger ones sales come mostly from credit. The average merchandising store will have a combination of both. Also, cash flows is not the only concern of a merchandising business because they also take into account profitability. The reason why merchandising businesses sell goods at such a large price is so that they can have enough money left to make an income. Profitability management is a very hard task and it includes getting a decent margin, and to maintain appropriate levels of operating expenses. Getting a decent margin will depends on the appropriate pricing of merchandise, and purchasing merchandise for a fair price.  To keep the operating expenses going smoothly it depends on controlling expenses and operating everything properly. At important times throughout the year the management should compare its estimated budget to its actual one. For example, if a company has estimated that they will spend 10,000 on purchasing merchandise but actually spent $10,150 then they went over a little. However, it can be countered if they estimate that they will make $17,000 from the profit but actually ended up making $19,000. A company must also look at home their advertising is going because if they are under spending then they may not be getting the recognition that they are looking for, but if they are overspending and not getting the results they attended then they are wasting their money.  They should also pay special attention to their insurance expense as well.  Another important aspect of the management system is to choose the inventory system properly.  Management must choose one or a couple of systems that will get the job done in a timely manner.  There are two basic systems used in accounting for this and they are perpetual and the periodic inventory system.   When using the perpetual inventory system, numerous of records are kept for the quantity available and the cost of the individual items as they are sold.  This detailed system gives the management team a better chance of the wants or needs of customers because they have an idea what is in stock. The cost of an individual item in this system is recorded in the Merchandise Inventory account, and when the item is sold it is transferred to the Cost of Goods sold account. However, for the periodic inventory system the item that is not sold is checked often, but usually towards the end of an accounting period. No records are kept for the inventory throughout the accounting period. The inventory is only accurate for the balance sheet date. The reason why some retail stores use this method is because it cuts down on the clerical work. This method is acceptable for small business, but I’m not sure it will work too well for large businesses. Generally companies that sale items in bulk amounts or high quantity but low quality such as discount retail stores will favor this method. On the other hand, companies that sell high priced but high quality but low quantity items such as jewelry stores will tend to use the perpetual inventory system.  The main transactions of merchandising businesses come from buying and selling. Merchandising business uses assets, merchandise inventory, and accounts receivable. A merchandising business is extremely opened to theft and fraud. The reason for this is its quite easy to that the cash and inventories are easy to steal and its difficult for a large company to keep track of all of the transactions that goes on each day. So, that’s why it’s extremely critical for a merchandising business to take the precautions to protect their assets which is commonly referred as internal controls. To maintain control of the inventory, it is required in both systems to take a physical inventory. This is a physical count of the merchandise that is currently available. This can get tricky at times because humans can miscount, so accuracy is very crucial during this process. The merchandise inventory is all of the goods that will be sold in the future. These include all goods whether in boxes on the shelf or currently on the self. The ending inventory is inventory that cannot be sold, or are not intended to be sold. These include merchandise that has been damaged, but it’s a good idea to sell the damaged goods at a significantly reduced price if they can to get rid of it. The count for the business is usually taken at the end of the fiscal year or when the business will significantly slow down such as in January or February. However, they will generally do this when their store are closed, or sometimes on the weekends. It’s very common for companies to experience loss of merchandise from their own employees. When using the periodic system there is no way of finding out how this happened because the loss of merchandise is automatically included in the cost of goods sold. For example, if a company lost $2,000 during an accounting period then that will automatically included in the cost of goods sold.  However, with the perpetual system this makes it a lot easier to identify losses because the merchandise inventory account is constantly updated with sales, and returns of goods.  Once the amount of loss is calculated the merchandise inventory account will be updated.


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Funding Your Business

This is the largest, and likely, the single-best reference on where to find

grants at the federal and state levels of the grant pipeline.

This website is a portal to a database of all types of Federal programs that

would benefit state and local governments, Indian tribes, public and

private for-profit and non-profit groups, special groups and individuals.

This database gives you information about specific grants, and then you

can contact the specific office that is in charge of the grant to learn how to

apply for it.

You can narrow your search by looking at their Assistance Programs

listings page, or you can do a wide sweeping search of all the programs

they have listed. Each topic, for example the Agricultural Research-Basic

and Applied Research topic, has a corresponding program number that

precedes it, which refers to the federal department that is in charge of the

particular grant and the numerical order of grants. They will list the type

of assistance offered, in this case project grants, and they will tell you

how you can and cannot use the grant money. They will list the eligibility

requirements, in this case a non-profit university or college or a non-profit

research organization.

It can also give information about how to apply and what their evaluation

procedure is for the applications and how they award the grant. You will

also see what the deadlines are to apply, and how long it will take them to

get back to you and let you know if you were awarded the grant or not.

Some grants also have requirements for after the time you have received

a grant, which can include things like reports and audits. You can also

learn how much money they usually award, and contacts to ask questions.

They helpfully also might list related programs. These are other places

where you will want to explore to see if your grant proposal will work for

these other programs because they are similar to the one at which you

are currently looking.


Posted in Business Funding by .

The Pitfalls of Management

Managing other people has ample rewards when you are able to see how your team is benefiting and growing under your expert governance, but it is just as easy to get it wrong if you do not pay attention to the following managerial pitfalls:

Failure to lead by example – As a manager, you are also a leader, and your team looks to you for guidance. Therefore, you must be careful how you behave in the workplace. You cannot expect other people to behave impeccably when you are not leading by example.

Areas to watch out for are: listening respectfully; communicating clearly; accepting ideas from other people; answering questions honestly and willingly.

Delegating clumsily – Try not to give employees the impression that you are pushing unpalatable work their way by failing to explain exactly why you have chosen a particular individual. Team members have specific roles and like to know that their tasks are theirs because they are best-suited to achieving the best outcome. You must allow them to ask questions so they can understand exactly what their goals are. You should also seek their response to the task, which conveys the message that they have the necessary skill set and you value their input.

They may have ideas that can seriously improve their performance of the task at hand. This is all about motivation. If you can link the task to a specific skill they have, and explain this to them, they will be far more amenable. Everyone loves praise.

Ignoring the young blood – This is not only negative for the younger members of the office, it could also be detrimental to the success of your objectives.

You never know where the next big idea may come from, and it may just be lurking in the freshest minds, precisely because they have not had a chance to be weighed down by the pressure (and possibly tedium) of work.

Don’t let personal pride or an ageist attitude blind you to young talent. Spend some time getting to know where the young blood is coming from – how they perceive their strengths and whether they have any great ideas they’d like to share, or tasks they would like to tackle.

Ignoring older workers – By the same token, do not ignore your more seasoned workers. They are the ones who have the most experience. They may also have some fresh ideas to offer, but may not have the youthful buzz to speak up unless asked. Make sure you appreciate their skills, which will have been earned over many years.

The fact that you are able to pretty much leave them alone to get on with things does not mean you should ignore their efforts. Be grateful that they are not a burden to you, and are producing the goods.

Older workers who feel taken for granted may “come off the boil” to a certain extent, and thus you risk losing some of your greatest assets in the workplace. As much as their skills may appear set, try to enliven things by offering alternative tasks that may prompt a renewed enthusiasm.

Ordering people about – It may be within your remit to do this, but this should be reserved for those times when employees leave you no choice but to issue orders, if not ultimatums. Try making suggestions and requests rather than issuing orders. It’s all semantics, really. Your team knows that your requests are actually orders phrased politely, but such subtleties can make a big difference. Remember that your team knows full-well that you have your directives from your own superiors, so will hardly refuse your requests.

If there is a certain latitude in the tasks you are handing out, seek suggestions and encourage employees to share their own ideas on how to best approach matters.

Stifling creativity – Managers cannot let their workplace or their team stagnate. To keep the situation fresh, you should be asking for ideas from your team at regular intervals. This not only spawns new approaches but also shows them that you value their input.

This does not mean abandoning tried and trusted routines that have served the organization for many years; it just means seeing of there are any ways to add a little spice, either with a few new tasks, or with new approaches to old tasks. Businesses thrive on new ideas, and they may even prove to be the impetus to take a business to a whole new level.

Maintaining the status quo – The above need for fresh ideas is also important for managers whose new job it is to head up an established team. The temptation may be to avoid rocking the boat and to keep a low profile, but dynamic leadership may be part of the reason you have been called in. Although you will not want to change routines that the organization depends upon, you should not be afraid of trying a few new working practices to see how they pan out and how they may benefit your team’s productivity.

Storing up problems – This relates specifically to the practice of noting personnel problems in a log to be delivered en masse during staff appraisals. This is detrimental for several reasons. Problems that are allowed to carry on may damage productivity; the team members at fault will resent the fact that they were allowed to continue in error for so long; they may be confronted with a long list of problems that could damage their confidence; and your ability to create trust will have been tarnished, because you failed to communicate the truth when it was necessary.

Far better to deal with issues as they arise to minimize damage, and show the team that you are a sharp manager who will not any situation drift. Staff appraisals are not designed as a delivery system for months of problems; rather they are used to monitor staff behavior and performance over that time, which should include the ability to take on board advice and direction as and when.

Taking high fliers for granted – This is a similar problem to ignoring the young blood and workplace veterans. The danger here is more pronounced, however, because a failure to properly praise and reward your stars may lead to them seeking better and more remunerative employment elsewhere, and these high achievers may be contributing a disproportionate amount of success to your overall figures.

Losing them would therefore be a serious blow not just to your team, but to the entire organization. You do not want to be the one who is blamed for losing your team’s biggest asset. Make sure these people know you value them, and if that means increasing their income, then that will be a small price to pay for keeping them on your side.

Focusing on the negative rather than the positive – Everyone makes mistakes, but concentrating solely on mistakes whilst ignoring the positives is guaranteed to alienate employees. Although you may believe that a job well done is only to be expected, it is always a good idea to praise team members who perform well.

This is the way to encourage more behavior of the same sort. It doesn’t take much effort to congratulate someone, but it can have a huge impact on their attitude. A team member who consistently excels and is not praised may end up losing interest. Where praise is neglected and criticisms leveled, this can be the cause of serious resentment. This does not mean that you cannot point out mistakes, but it is policy to surround the criticism with points that you do admire about that person’s work. This serves to cushion the negative comment, and also subtly suggests that they should exchange their mistake for further success.

Failing to build a strong team – Managers should remember to nurture a team ethos. Individuals within a team work better together when they are more aware of belonging to a team. A sense of team creates a more powerful force than the idea that a workplace is just a gathering of individuals. This can be encouraged by holding regular team meetings where everyone has a chance to express their views and share exactly what they are doing to contribute to the whole team effort.


Posted in Running Your Business by .

Management Truths

Planning

Planning involves the selection of the organization’s goals and ambitions, and formulating the specific actions that will be necessary to achieve them. This involves a significant degree of decision-making, so that the correct choices can be made once all possibilities have been identified and assessed.

Planning takes in the whole gamut, from the most obvious decisions such as the location of business premises, and employing the right people for the available jobs, right down to the exact details of each component of any manufactured product. Plans do not become plans until such decisions have been made. Prior to these decisions, managers are analyzing, studying, and making proposals.

Organizing

The management function of organizing has at its heart the concept of “role”. That is, which employees are to be tasked with carrying out what jobs, and how they are to be put to work.

People working together in teams must know their exact purpose if the organization’s objectives are to be realized most efficiently and in the shortest period of time.

That involves all employees understanding where they fit into the overall picture, and how their job objective contributes to the overall aims. Management of this function further requires that everyone involved has the appropriate equipment, authority, and information to accomplish the task.

In short, organizing establishes a structure to help create an environment in which human performance can excel. The structure must define the tasks necessary, and the roles must be geared to the abilities of the workers.

Leading

Leading is the managerial function that deals with influencing employees. This requires that the manager possesses interpersonal skills so that their team feels motivated and inspired. Without this influential leadership, employees may feel out of touch with the importance of fulfilling the organization’s goals.

Management problems mostly arise from issues with employees. These may be employee conflicts with the manager, employees failing to work together, or individuals suffering behavioral or attitudinal problems. Wherever the problem derives from, it is the manager’s job to lead the way out of the mire for all concerned, which means leading from the front. This will require skills in communication, listening, problem-solving, conflict-resolution, and a chameleon-like quality of adapting to the various personalities that populate the workplace.

Controlling

The first part of controlling is monitoring. Effective management involves paying attention to the organization’s ongoing plans, and how closely they are being adhered to and their objectives fulfilled.

This will necessitate measuring and perhaps correcting the activities of employees. Without peak human performance, even the best-laid plans are prone to failure. Plans are only the starting point. It is humans who enact them, and humans can become easily distracted or lose motivation.

Although controlling sounds like quite a manipulative process, it is not always the case. It may take as little as a few words of praise or encouragement to keep an employee on track, or it may take formal sanctions and threats of job termination. Good management means being able to gauge the exact level of control that needs to be exerted to realign performance with objectives.

As effective controlling means monitoring achievement against objectives, the previous issue of organizing becomes important in terms of job roles. Managers need to know exactly who to look at if a certain area is falling behind schedule or missing the mark in any way.

Clearly-defined job roles should enable quick identification of the problem source. This not only means it can be easily rectified, but it also avoids the problem of targeting the wrong people as culprits. Criticisms mistakenly levelled at people who are performing well can instantly create new problems in previously model employees.


Posted in Running Your Business by .

Intro to Management

Although we tend to think of management in terms of the organization of a company, and some may regard management as equivalent to business administration and therefore exclude management in places outside the commercial sector, in reality management structures are evident throughout society, from government bodies through military forces, right down to personal home environments.

This is because management may be defined as all the activities carried out by one or more people with the aim of planning and controlling the activities of other people so that an objective can be achieved that would not have been possible through individuals acting independently.

Most accepted authorities on management believe that there are several parts to the concept of management:

  • Planning
  • Organizing 
  • Staffing 
  • Leading 
  • Controlling

This means that anyone in a managerial role will carry out the above functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling to varying degrees, depending on the specific needs, practices and methods of the organization, and according to the level at which the managing is taking place. For example, lower level managers may not have too much input on staffing, as this might be handled by an authority above them. However, a seam that does run through all levels of management is that managers are engaged in getting things done through other people.


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